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Department of Corporate and Information Services

Communications

It is the aim of the Northern Territory (NT) Government to improve telecommunications in areas where service is currently below that of major centres.

The Communications section of the Department of Corporate and Information Services plays a strategic role in getting all Territorians access to similar communications technologies and infrastructure to that available in southern cities.

  • Fixed phone services (house, business and pay phones) are provided by various carriers with community access guaranteed under the Universal Service Obligation between Telstra and the Australian Government.
  • Broadband and dial up Internet services are available in the NT from a variety of retail outlets.
  • Television broadcast services are available throughout the NT as either land based broadcasts or direct to home satellite viewing.

Telecommunications

The NT is the least densely populated territory or state in Australia. According to the 2006 Census we have 192 898 people spread over 1 346 000 sq kms. This sparseness of population, one person per 69 sq kms, adds significantly to infrastructure costs associated with communications services.

It is the aim of the NT Government to improve telecommunications in areas that are currently inadequately serviced through negotiation with all relevant stakeholders. The Australian Government has primary responsibility for communications in Australia and is the primary stakeholder in the Northern Territory.

If you have a complaint regarding telecommunications services you can contact either the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is an office of last resort. This means that before contacting them you must have tried to resolve your complaint with your service provider.

Broadcasting

Television

The NT Government has taken a keen interest in broadcasting throughout the Territory. The NT enjoys access to several different media formats including:

  • analogue and digital free to air (FTA) television (ABC, SBS, Nine Network, Southern Cross Broadcasting who provide Seven Darwin and Seven Central and Imparja and a number of digital only channels)
  • PAY-TV broadcast by AUSTAR
  • commercial and national FM radio broadcasts as well as some AM services
  • various direct to home satellite TV and radio services.

The key regulatory body, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, provide excellent advice on reception difficulties.

Community radio

The NT Government is a proud sponsor of community radio stations: Radio Larrakia and Radio 8CCC.

TV reception

If you experience reception difficulties the following phone contact numbers may be useful.

  • ABC1, ABC2 and ABC3 – 1300 139 994
  • Southern Cross Broadcasting – 1800 011 055 (Seven, 7TWO, 7Mate, Ten and ONE)
  • Nine, Go and Gem – (08) 8981 8888
  • SBS – 1800 500 727

Digital TV and radio

The Australian Government has mandated the switch off date for analogue television transmission of 31 December 2013. Some areas may make the transition earlier than this date.

Digital free to air (FTA) television comes in two formats, standard definition (DVD quality pictures) and high definition (cinema quality pictures with surround sound). Digital television offers far superior picture quality and near CD quality sound when compared to the older analogue service. It can also offer closed captioning, electronic program guides and wide screen viewing as well as other enhanced viewing options.

Unlike television, the implementation of digital radio is not mandated. The former government released a broad policy stance on the issue which is yet to be ratified or amended by the previous Labour Government.

Useful links

Refer to the Useful links page for more details.

Contacts

For enquiries or for more details contact Communications Unit.

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